Livingston Co. GOP claims ‘censorship’ from local newspaper, calls for boycott ⋆
Claiming that they have been the victim of “censorship,” the Livingston County Republican Party has called for a boycott of the local newspaper, and the creation of a “conservative publication” with “conservative values.”
At issue is a story published last week by the Livingston Daily, a Gannett publication previously known as the Livingston County Press & Argus, which is published in the GOP stronghold that lies between Lansing and Detroit.
The paper reported Glenn Gogoleski, a member of the Hartland Consolidated Schools Board of Education, had reposted on social media a meme equating Nazism with support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Glenn Gogoleski | Campaign photo
Gogoleski shared the post from Ariel Levi Di Gualdo, an arch-conservative Italian priest who believes a “lobby” of homosexuals has co-opted the Catholic Church. The post states: “It is very important to train them from an early age,” and is juxtaposed with two photos, one showing children waving Nazi flags, the other showing children waving Pride flags.
The story reported on community reaction to the post, with a local advocacy group, Stand Against Extremism LivCo, calling it “fearmongering,” while the Livingston County Democratic Party said Gogoleski “has no business being involved in the education of young people in any capacity whatsoever,” adding that he was “an embarrassment to all the good people in the Hartland Consolidated Schools.”
The paper also sought comment from Gogoleski, who reportedly replied by asking, “What’s the issue?” Livingston County Republican Party Chair Jennifer Smith responded to the paper’s request by calling it “lame.”
Requests for comment have been sent to both Gogoleski and Smith, but have yet to be returned.
In March, Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo defended a social media post by the statewide party comparing gun reform to the Holocaust. The Democratic-sponsored legislation was introduced after a mass shooting at Michigan State University killed three students and injured five more.
The meme, posted to both the Michigan GOP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, used a picture from the U.S. National Archives of wedding rings removed by Germans from Holocaust victims with text that read: “Before they collected all these wedding rings … They collected all the guns.”
Gogoleski’s post followed a decision earlier in the month by the Fowlerville Community Schools Board of Education to adopt a “content-neutral” policy that effectively banned Pride flags and displays in classrooms. It was similar to a policy put forward by Gogoleski that was passed in June by the Hartland school board.
The Livingston Daily also reported that this was not the first instance in which Gogoleski had courted controversy.
In March, he was censured by the Hartland school board for comments he made on a local podcast in which he asserted his desire to enter every school in the district unannounced and spend time in school offices “to see the kids that are the problems.” He further inferred support for “grabbing” problem students “by the scruff of the neck.”
“This is why I could never, ever, ever be a teacher,” he said on the podcast. “Because if I was, I would be a news highlight reel. I really would.”
Following publication of the story, the Livingston County Republican Party posted a statement on its website titled, “Don’t Tread on (or Censure) Us!”
“Today, one of our elected officials and our chairwoman have been attacked in a hit piece by the Livingston Daily Press & Argus,” reads the statement. “After much pushback by many Livingston County Conservatives on social media, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus chose censorship, blocking our chairwoman as well as our Livingston County Republican Facebook page.”
The county party then called on Republicans in the county to no longer subscribe, read or advertise with the newspaper, adding: “… let us work together to grow a conservative publication in our county where WE ARE THE MAJORITY!” We look forward to embarking on this goal of a conservative media presence and are excited to forge a path forward together – We The People.”
Livingston County Republican Party statement
When asked to comment on the declaration, Carlene Cox, senior director of corporate communications for Gannett, told the that they were exercising their stated responsibilities for online content.
“We recognize the importance of public discussion. Civil debate is crucial to our society and all respectful comments are welcome on The Livingston Daily’s Facebook page. By joining the conversation, users agree to Facebook’s conditions as well as our conversation guidelines. We reserve the right to remove comments and users that violate these policies,” said Cox.
For his part, Gogoleski took to his Facebook page to further complain about the story.
“The mainstream media and their local outlets are paid shills for all things liberal/progressive,” he said. “And the real IRONY of it all – they wrote a piece about my posting of kids with N^zi and transgender flags, then deny my free speech.”
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authored by Jon King
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